Novus Opiate Seclorum

Section F: “Opiate”

Released 19 April 1992; certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA. Peaked at #48, according to Billboard.

Track Listing:



Part of Me

Cold and Ugly


Opiate / The Gaping Lotus Experience

F1. Where did they get the title?

From the Karl Marx quote, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.”. (Christopher diCarlo,, 31 October 2001)

F2. On the first track, the music doesn’t begin right away. Why is that?

If you’ve listened to the rest of their catalog, you’d know by now that they do this on virtually all of their albums. They seem to like ear candy. 

F3. “Hush” seems to be about censorship? Is that true?

Yes, it was written in protest of Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Center, and censorship in general. 

F4. I hear talking just before “Part of Me” begins?

That’s Maynard saying “Yeah. Ready. I was having fun sitting down having a cup of coffee but now I have to sing.”

F5. What on earth is Maynard talking about at the beginning of “Cold and Ugly”? Who is this “Bob Marley wannabe motherfucker”?

On 25 July 2019, Bill Manspeaker hisself posted to his Facebook account the true story (edited for clarity and grammar): “Now it’s time to completely kill the rumor that Zack [de la Rocha] from Rage Against the Machine is the “Bob Marley wannabe.” Below is picture proof of the infamous quote [he posted the picture and can be viewed on his page]. “THROW THAT BOB MARLEY WANNA BE OUTTA HERE!” This is the exact moment when Maynard yells at his friend Donovan for screaming obnoxious words at him with [a] megaphone throughout the entire live recording of “Opiate”. Donovan got Maynard a job building sets with him for Hollywood TV and commercial productions. Maynard lived at the Jello Loft with us and met Donovan through us.  Donovan was another creative person who was part of our gigantic artist [and] musician collective at the “GREEN JELLO LOFT”. Next to Donovan, aka “THE BOB MARLEY WANNA BE,” is Adam Jones’ high school friend Tom Morello who, along with Adam, was also part of our artist collective. As you can see there is no Zack de la Rocha standing next to Tom. In fact it’s just Maynard’s work friend Donovan. The rest is rock history” (William Charles Manspeaker, via Facebook; 24 July 2019)

F6. What on earth is that loud scream at the beginning of “Cold and Ugly”?

That was actually William “Bill” Charles Manspeaker as he dived from a second story balcony. Here is his own words (edited for clarity and grammar): 

“THE TIME I STAGED DIVED OFF THE SECOND FLOOR WHEN TOOL PLAYED AT MY NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY AT THE INFAMOUS GREEN JELLO LOFT, HOLLYWOOD” Rock History TOOL School edition: This was the concert in my home in 1991 when “TOOL” recorded the two live songs for the album Opiate. You can hear me scream on the recording of “Jerk-Off” as I make this stage dive off the second story loft onto the stage landing next to my [former] roommate Maynard James Keenan. Joe Russo, the now famous animation director, is trying to prevent me from jumping but fails. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine can been seen in the front row with the turned head wearing the jacket with the patches. 27 years later, the combination of these four people shown below have generated over 500 million dollars in the entertainment industry.” (William Charles Manspeaker, via Facebook; 24 July 2019)

F7.  Wait, so “Cold and Ugly” and “Jerk-Off” are both live performances?

“Cold and Ugly” and “Jerk-Off” were recorded specially for the album at the Jellö Loft on New Year’s Eve 1991 with a live audience. ( Charles Manspeaker)

F8. “Opiate” (the song) sounds a bit different than all of the rest. 

According to Adam, “When we did our first [record], we picked our heaviest songs. People went, ‘Oh, you’re a metal band,’ and I thought that was kind of way: “On [Opiate] we were more slam and bang. Now we’re using more melody.” (LA Times, 4/93)

F9. I swear, every time I listen to this song, I hear a telephone ringing…

You did, at about 4:50 or so. 

F10.  Wait, is that a hidden track after “Opiate”?

Yes, and it is called “The Gaping Lotus Experience”. 

F11. My CD doesn’t have “The Gaping Lotus Experience!”

Some pressings of this album are missing this song; there’s no good way to tell just by looking if a given copy is without, though it seems that copies marked “(P) 1997” are believed to be the offensive batch.

F12. What is on the front cover?

It is a photo of a sculpture, called “Priest” that was made by guitarist Adam Jones. 

F13. So, about the back cover, it seems different?

When Zoo Records became Volcano Entertainment, the new label changed it slightly to feature large red text on the back in a different, more Gothic style font.

F14. What on earth is going on with the collage?

In the original CD inserts for the album there is a collage of photos of the band members as children, among various items and trinkets, and also includes a picture of someone engaging in necrophilia with a well-decomposed cadaver. In reality, it is a friend of the band joking around in prop maker Stan Winston’s Studio. (Wikipedia)

F15. Whose dog tags are those?

Those belong to Maynard and are from his Army and West Point Prep School days. 

*F16. I saw them in concert and they played “Opiate” (the song) and it sounds way different now.

They have done this a lot , and not just with this song. They’ve added a newer mid-section with a drum solo and have also “updated” the lyrics to, as the saying goes, keep up with the times. 

F17. I also heard that they re-recorded “Opiate” (the song)?

Yes they have, but as of this writing it is still unreleased. ( Jones’ Instagram)

F18.  I heard about a re-release of the EP?

On 26 March 2013, the did re-release Opiate with new artwork via their fan site (Spin; 20 March 2013)

For more information relating specifically about the rerelease, check this out:

F19.  How many different covers does the 21st Anniversary Edition have?

It came with 5 slightly different versions of the reworked cover art. 

F20. Where can I find a copy?

Your best bet would be eBay, but you’re going to need a sizeable wad of cash to get ahold of a legit copy. 

F21.  I heard they finally uploaded this EP on digital platforms now?

Yes, on 7 August 2019 they released this, along with the rest of their back catalogue, sans 72826 and Salival to all major digital and streaming services.

F22. Have they made any videos for any of these songs?

They did make a black and white video for “Hush” of the guys wearing nothing except Parental Advisory ‘stickers’. 

According to Adam, they did make a video for the as yet unreleased new version of “Opiate” (the song), but as of this writing it is also unreleased. ( Jones’ Instagram)

F23. I heard they licensed “Sweat” for use in a movie soundtrack?

Yes, you can find it on the Escape From L.A. soundtrack.